DEBORAH GIST – THE COMMISSIONER OF RIDE

Deborah A. Gist, who taught and served directly in schools for more than a decade early in her career, began her service as the Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education on July 1, 2009.Previously, she served as State Superintendent of Education in the District of Columbia, beginning in June 2007. As the first state superintendent of education in the District, she was responsible for transitioning all state-level education functions to the newly formed office of the state superintendent of education and for putting into effect the accountability systems of the federal No Child Left Behind education law.

As state superintendent of education, Gist created new, progressive educator-certification polices for teachers and school administrators, allowing school districts and nonprofit organizations to apply to certify educators, and she enacted new standards for teacher-preparation programs to improve quality, expand opportunity, and encourage innovation. Gist worked with the first state board of education in the District to transition its role to that of a policy-setting body during its first year of existence, and she developed many important state-level education policies, including standards for health and physical education, world languages, arts education, and early-childhood learning.

Before taking on the role as State Superintendent, Gist served for three years as the state education officer in the District. In that role, she restored the confidence of Congress in the Tuition Assistance Grants program, resulting in a federal funding increase of more than 100 percent for a program that now serves more than 5,000 college students in the District each year. She also oversaw dramatic improvements in much-maligned child-nutrition programs in the District, including the Summer Food Service program, which was subsequently named the best-performing summer-food program in America for four consecutive years.

Gist began her career in education 21 years ago, as a teacher in the Ft. Worth, Texas, elementary schools, where she focused on literacy education and applied learning. She later taught in Tampa, Florida, where she founded and directed a center on environmental education and later conceived, designed, and initiated Hillsborough Reads, which served families in 108 elementary schools in Hillsborough County. She won “Teacher of the Year” honors at her schools in both Ft. Worth and Tampa.

In addition to spending 10 years serving directly in schools, Gist was a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Education. She advised the secretary and deputy secretary on top issues, analyzed proposed policy initiatives, and conducted research and feasibility studies. Gist also served as the marketing and development director of the Discovery Creek Children’s Museum, in Washington, and she later worked for the Office of the Mayor, in Washington, as the executive director of the office on volunteerism and service programs, Serve DC. While in Washington, Gist served as a volunteer mentor and a board member for Mentors, Inc.

Gist earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, where she was also selected as a Kennedy Fellow and received the Littauer Fellowship for academic excellence and community service. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in early-childhood education from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Arts in elementary education, with an emphasis in curriculum, from the University of South Florida. Gist became a certified public manager, following successful completion of a joint program with the District of Columbia government and the George Washington University. In 2008, she completed a fellowship with the Broad Academy for Superintendents, which prepares talented leaders to take on executive leadership roles in urban education.

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SARAH PALIN – 11th GOVERNOR OF ALASKA

Sarah Palin is a Politician, born as Sarah Louise Heath on February 11, 1964, in Sandpoint, Idaho. At the age of three months, she moved to Alaska when her parents came to teach school in Skagway in southeast Alaska. Sarah Palin’s father, Charles, was a science teacher and track coach. Her mother, Sally, was a school secretary.Sarah Palin grew up in the small town of Wasilla, about 40 miles north of Anchorage. In 1982, she played on Wasilla High School’s state champion girls’ basketball team, picking up the nickname “Sarah Barracuda” for her intense playing style. After graduating from Wasilla High in 1982, Sarah Palin wore the crown of Miss Wasilla in 1984 and was the runner-up in the Miss Alaska contest. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987. She also became a television sports reporter in Anchorage.

An outdoors enthusiast, Palin is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. She is an avid hunter, eats moose hamburger and rides snowmobiles. Palin eloped with her high school sweetheart, Todd Palin, on August 29, 1988, and helped run his family’s commercial fishing business. Todd, who is part Yu’pik Eskimo, also worked for BP at a Prudhoe Bay processing facility. He took leave from the company when his wife became governor to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

Affectionately referred to as Alaska’s “First Dude,” Todd is also a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, the world’s longest snow machine race. From 1995 to 2002, he was a member of Alaska’s Independence Party, a fierce states’ rights group that wants to turn all federal lands in Alaska back to the state. Some party leaders have advocated Alaskan secession from the United States. Palin and her husband have five children: Bristol (who is 17-years-old and expecting a baby with boyfriend Levi Johnston, a hockey player at Bristol’s high school), Willow, Piper, Track (who is in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Iraq on September 11, 2008) and Trig (who was born in April 2008 with Down syndrome).Palin entered politics in 1992, winning a seat on the Wasilla City Council by opposing tax hikes. Four years later, she was elected mayor of Wasilla by knocking off a three-term incumbent. As mayor, Palin cut property taxes and reduced spending. She also raised the city sales tax by a half a percent to build a popular sports complex and put more money into public safety. Mayor Palin also effectively used the system of congressional earmarks. She collected $26.9 million in such funding, according the independent watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, including $15 million for a commuter rail project.

Palin ran her first statewide campaign in 2002 in a bid for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. She lost by fewer than 2,000 votes. Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski appointed Sarah Palin to chair the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in 2003. She resigned a year later in protest over what she perceived to be the “lack of ethics” of fellow Alaskan Republican leaders, including Republican Party Chair Randy Ruedrich.

Checkout the ASCII Art of Sarah Palin in the below link. Please use Lucida Console font to view the art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

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